Optus is putting on 500 new staff in customer service and support, including 300 who will start tomorrow, to rebuild capacity in the wake of call centre closures offshore.
The telco this morning advertised for what it calls “customer care concierges” in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
It appears Optus is hoping to add about 200 people through this recruitment drive, in addition to 300 people that will begin similar roles tomorrow, for a total of 500 new hires.
Optus, like most other telcos, has been hit hard by lockdowns in India and The Philippines, where it had customer service teams located.
“The teams in India and Philippines have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions introduced into those countries, which has reduced our capacity to handle enquiries,” it said in official guidance on its website.
Optus’ vice president of regulatory and public affairs Andrew Sheridan said in a statement that the telco had previously believed a three-country presence would offer a “diversity of locations [that] would make us resilient to any disruptions.”
“However, like many companies, with increasing lockdowns across the globe, we are experiencing significantly reduced capacity to answer all service calls in the manner in which we aspire,” he said.
“We have mobilised our stores so they too can be available to assist customers with questions and support, and we are working to hire new people who can be trained to provide support as well.
“We are in discussions with other Australian companies that have been heavily affected by current events as well as existing partners to have people join us this week.”
Telstra is similarly in the process of hiring 1000 customer service staff across six domestic call centre locations.
Other telcos are transitioning domestic call centres to remote work arrangements, or are in the process of enacting their own contingency plans.